Geithner's Got It
On a somewhat close vote of 60-34, Timothy Geithner was confirmed as Treasury Secretary. Best of luck - this is like being hired to coach the LA Clippers.
In the roll call vote, you can see that Byrd, Feingold, Harkin and Sanders voted no, with Brown, Wyden and Kennedy not voting. There was skepticism on the left on this appointment - I don't think Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold much cared about tax underpayments. Geithner is basically a technocrat, I'm worried that he will be ideologically incapable to do what's necessary to make it out of this financial crisis. As long as he doesn't artificially restrict his responses to the crisis, I'm fine with him.
...Officially, at least, Feingold says it was about the tax issues. From his statement:
"Mr. Geithner's tax liability is a different matter, however. I am deeply troubled by his failure to pay the payroll taxes he owed, despite repeated alerts from his employer at the time, the International Monetary Fund, that he was responsible for paying those taxes. Moreover, his earlier interactions with the Internal Revenue Service over his failure to pay sufficient payroll taxes for his household employees make Mr. Geithner's explanations of his failure to pay his own payroll taxes even less satisfactory. The failure to comply with our nation's tax laws would be problematic for any Cabinet nominee, but it is especially disturbing when it involves the individual who will be charged with overseeing the enforcement of our tax laws."
I'm surprised, but the more I hear about Geithner's tax troubles, the less defensible it is.